After a devastating weekend where Hurricane Ian left a trail of destruction in North Carolina and many other states on the Southeast coastline, recovery efforts have begun as the state government and local communities assess the damage done.
The hurricane, which weakened to a tropical storm by the time it hit North Carolina on Friday, sustained winds of around 50 miles per hour, as it took center stage around 60 miles southeast of Greensboro, traveling at 15 miles per hour north.
The state suffered 358,741 power outages last Friday, hitting Wake, Guilford, Durham, and Forsyth counties. The storm left almost 90,000 residents without power in the Triangle, dropping off to 50,000 on Saturday.
Flooding also occurred in New Hanover County, where it reached 6 inches of water on the road, and in Carolina Beach.
Sadly, the hurricane claimed four lives over the weekend as a 25-year-old and a 24-year-old lost their lives in separate vehicle incidents on Friday. Meanwhile, a 65-year-old died from leaving their generator on in their garage on Saturday. All three victims were from Johnston County. Another 22-year-old also died in a vehicle incident Friday in Martin County.
“The storm has passed, but many hazards remain with downed trees, downed power lines and power outages,” Governor Roy Cooper said.
“We mourn with the families of those who have died and urge everyone to be cautious while cleaning up to avoid more deaths or injuries,” he continued, while reminding residents that generators should be strictly used outdoors and away from enclosed spaces to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
As North Carolina recovers from the storm, part of the state, particularly the North Carolina Outer Banks, have received flood warnings as tidal waves reach up to 12 feet. Officials have urged people to stay away from flood warning areas, as storm-worn houses are at risk of collapsing.